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Plane Incidents: Should You Avoid The Airline? - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Plane Incidents: Should You Avoid The Airline?

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 Several recent high-profile plane incidents may have people wondering if it's safe to fly. Thursday an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers disappeared from radar, on Tuesday a jet made an emergency landing in Ohio after a smoke alarm went off, a passenger plane crashed in Taiwan Wednesday killing dozens, and that Malaysian airlines plane was shot down over Ukraine last week. In the wake of these incidents, some fliers may be swearing off specific airlines but should they?

It is scary to hear of these plane incidents and so it is easy to say, "oh that airline is doomed" or "I'm never flying that airline again," but this might not be the most logical thing to do.

The blog "five thirty eight" pored through 30 years of flight records from the aviation safety network's database and they found that in flying an airline that just experienced a crash, your risk of being involved in another crash is actually very low.  And after a disaster the risk of flying on that specific airline still does not really increase.

Five thirty eight found it is the GDP of the airline's home country that is the best predictor of an airline's future rate of crashes.

From 1985-2014 their data showed that airlines in more developed nations have fewer crashes.  The airlines with the fewest number of incidents, accidents and fatalities per kilometers flown include, Southwest Airlines, Cathay Pacific, and Lufthansa -- all from wealthier countries.

By comparison, airlines with the worst track records from that same time period were from poorer countries.

This might not be much to convince you, as the psychology of a high-profile accident really can sour an airline's reputation and make you nervous to fly with them even if the numbers show you don't need to be.  


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